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Woman who bought firearm for felon who shot, killed Ill. officer sentenced to 8.5 years in prison

Champaign Police Department Officer Chris Oberheim was killed in 2021; other officers shot and killed the shooter during the incident


Champaign Police Department

By Drew Zimmerman
The Pantagraph, Bloomington, Ill.

PEORIA, Ill. — A federal judge sentenced a Normal woman to 8 1/2 years in prison on Friday for her role in illegally purchasing a firearm that was used in the 2021 shooting death of Champaign police officer Chris Oberheim.

In May, Regina Lewis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally purchase and transfer a firearm and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Peoria.

Lewis admitted in court that she conspired with co-defendants Ashantae Corruthers and Darion M. Lafayette to purchase and transfer a firearm to Lafayette since he could not purchase one himself because of his status as a convicted felon.

According to prosecutors, Corruthers purchased 9mm Glock 48 semiautomatic pistol in November 2020 from a federal firearms licensee in Indianapolis. She falsely certified to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that she was the actual buyer.

Lewis also admitted she conspired with the co-defendants to cover up the purchase by having Corruthers falsely report to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in April 2021 that the gun was stolen from her, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors previously said Lafayette used the firearm to fatally shoot Oberheim on May 19, 2021, 23 days after the firearm was falsely reported as stolen. Lafayette was then shot and killed by another Champaign officer who had been struck with gunfire.

Lewis later continued to cover up the illegal purchase by agreeing to have Corruthers tell an ATF investigator the gun was purchased for herself, it had been stolen in March and she did not know Lafayette, prosecutors said.

Although U.S. sentencing guidelines recommended 18 to 24 months of imprisonment for Lewis, prosecutors requested 9 years because of the nature and circumstances of the offense.

U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce sentenced Lewis to 8 1/2 years in federal prison.

Lewis remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending transfer to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Corruthers’ sentencing is set for Feb. 12 in Urbana.

Contact Drew Zimmerman at 309-820-3276. Follow Drew on Twitter: @DZimmermanLee


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